Under Artistic Director/producer Ralph Meranto, CenterStage produces a 6-show season of plays, musicals, and other events with a focus on new work development and presenting world/regional premieres. Development works including World Premiere productions of Jason Odell Williams’ Church & State (Off Broadway New World Stages/OBA Nominee for Best New Play), Kasha Davis’ There’s Always Time for a Cocktail (Off-Broadway Premiere Beechman Theater), Wendy Kout’s Survivors and Naked in Encino and Hank Kimmel’s Welcome to the Neighborhood as well as early development productions of Jason Odell Williams’ Handle with Care,
David Hein/Irene Sankoff’s My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, Deb Margolin’s Imagining Madoff and Deborah Zoe Laufer’s The Last Schwartz. OUR MISSION: “CenterStage at the Jewish Community Center exists to entertain, enlighten and educate the Greater Rochester community by providing quality theatre that is relevant to the Jewish experience and has universal appeal.”
40th Anniversary Subscription Series
Church & State
October 22-November 6, 2016
A World Premiere Comedy/Drama by Jason Odell Williams
Church & State is a shockingly funny and brutally honest look at how religion, guns, and social media influence our elections. When a Republican U.S. Senator makes an off-the-cuff comment to a blogger that calls into question his belief in God, the senator’s devoutly Christian wife and liberal Jewish campaign manager battle with the senator over how to contain the damage. Will the fall-out destroy the senator’s career or change the world? Emmy-Nominated Jason Odell Williams (Handle with Care), developed Church & State in conjunction with JCC CenterStage and the National New Plays Network for this Rochester World Premiere. Directed by Ralph Meranto.
Brad Zimmerman in
My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy
December 1-11, 2016
“Delicious! Distinctly original…Powerfully poignant…Great Comedy!” —The New York Times
“I’ve had three great opening acts in my lifetime: Billy Crystal, Garry Shandling and Brad Zimmerman.” —Joan Rivers
After playing to packed houses in NYC for 2 years, Comedian/Actor Brad Zimmerman brings his hysterical and inspiring story about the sweet rewards that come from never giving up on your dreams, to CenterStage. Brad spent 29 years “temporarily” waiting tables in New York, while chasing a career in acting and comedy. His perseverance eventually paid off and he went on to become an opening act for George Carlin, Brad Garrett, Dennis Miller, and Joan Rivers. Zimmerman’s self-deprecating humor and wicked charm, as he talks about his pursuit, his relationship with his family, a misbegotten love life and some persnickety diners, combine for 90 minutes of pure laughter.
Coney Island Christmas
by Donald Margulies
December 15-18, 2016
Last season’s hit returns. Coney Island Christmas weaves together nostalgia, music and hilariously exuberant holiday pageants in a show for all ages and all faiths. Based on “The Loudest Voice” by Grace Paley, a young Jewish girl in 1930s Brooklyn is cast to play the role of Jesus in her school Christmas play as her immigrant parents reconcile their own traditions with their new role as Americans.
The Hit Makers
February 4-19, 2017
Conceived and created by Ralph Meranto, Musical Arrangements by Casey Filiaci
Featuring music from Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Carly Simon, The Mamas and the Papas, Crosby-Stills-Nash and Young, Arlo Guthrie, Lou Reed, Janis Ian, Jefferson Airplane and more, the music of the 1960’s counter-culture movement comes to life in this all-new musical tribute from the creators of The Hit Factory.
by Annie Baker
March 4-19, 2017
Winner! 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
Winner! 2013 OBIE Award, Playwriting
Winner! 2013 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize
Three underpaid employees of a run-down movie theater tear tickets, clean up popcorn and attend to one of the few remaining 35 millimeter film projectors in usage. Their tiny battles and not-so-tiny heartbreaks play out in the empty aisles and become more gripping than the lackluster, second-run movies on the screen. With keen insight and a finely tuned comic eye, The Flick is a hilarious and heart-rending plea for authenticity in a fast-changing world. A must-see for movie lovers.
Titanic, The Musical
Music and Lyrics by Maury Yeston, Story and Book by Peter Stone
May 6-21, 2017
Winner! 5 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Book and Best Score
From the emboldened owner and builder who believed their ship was “unsinkable” to the emigrants in steerage searching for a better life in America, both the epic and everyday stories of the passengers on the legendary RMS Titanic are played out in this gorgeous and beloved musical